The advantages of encouraging primary school aged children to read run so deep and wide it is difficult to know where to start. However, we know we want to create a primary school that is inclusive and allows students to discover, work together and experience the joys of learning together. Being able to read confidently enables children to participate in conversations surrounding literature (Barone, 2011). If students are locked out of such conversations their ability to feel included and connect with others can only suffer.
Being able to connect with others is far from the only joy of reading. Reading can touch you emotionally, allow you to step outside yourself, to visualise new people, places and experiences (Nodelman and Reimer, 2003). That reading can open up such endless and immeasurable opportunities for children surely goes to the heart of what education can and should be.
These are not just whimsical opinions either. Haven (2007) declares that hundreds of studies have unanimously shown that the reading of stories helps to improve comprehension; logical thinking; the ability to create meaning; relations with others; the motivation and ability to learn; one’s grasp of literacy and language; writing and memory.
Whether you are a teacher, school principal, or any person anywhere, such advantages are clear for all to see. Reading, often and widely, needs to be embraced and encouraged. We must therefore lead our young students to develop a love of reading that they can take with them through life.
Barone, D. M. (2011). Children’s literature in the classroom: Engaging lifelong learners. New York: Guilford Press.
Nodelman, P., & Reimer, M. (2003). The pleasures of children’s literature. (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Haven, K. F. (2007). Story proof: The science behind the starting power of story. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group.